STRAW­BERRY CHEESE­CAKE WITH LAVEN­DER SUGAR

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SERVES 12 (MAKES TWO 15CM CAKES)

You will need 2 x 15cm cake pans or 1 x 24cm spring­form cake pan for this recipe. Be­gin at least 4 hours ahead.

500g straw­ber­ries, hulled, roughly chopped, plus ex­tra 250g whole hulled straw­ber­ries to serve 2 cups (440g) caster sugar,

plus ex­tra 2 tbs 250g but­ter­nut or short­bread cookies 90g un­salted but­ter, melted, cooled 1.5kg cream cheese, at room tem­per­a­ture 4 eggs 1 tbs vanilla ex­tract 2 tbs corn­flour Pink food colour­ing 3 tsp dried ed­i­ble laven­der 300ml thick­ened cream, whipped

In a saucepan, place straw­berry, half sugar and 1 cup (250ml) wa­ter, stir­ring to dis­solve sugar. Place over medium heat and boil for 6-8 min­utes or un­til thick­ened and straw­berry is bro­ken down. Cool com­pletely, then whiz in a blender to a smooth puree. Set aside.

Pre­heat oven to 140°C. Grease two 15cm cake pans or a 24cm cake pan and line the bases with bak­ing pa­per. Line the sides with 2 lay­ers of bak­ing pa­per, greas­ing be­tween each layer so they stick to­gether (this pre­vents the sides from browning). Whiz cookies in a food pro­ces­sor un­til fine. Add but­ter and whiz to com­bine. Di­vide evenly be­tween the 2 pans and press into the base.

In a stand mixer with the paddle at­tach­ment, beat cream cheese un­til smooth. Add re­main­ing 1 cup (220g) sugar and beat to com­bine, then beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beat­ing well af­ter each ad­di­tion. Beat in vanilla, corn­flour, puree and food colour­ing to de­sired colour. Di­vide be­tween pans and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour 25 min­utes or un­til edges are firm with a wob­ble in cen­tre. Turn off heat, cool cakes com­pletely in oven, then chill for 4 hours to overnight or un­til firm.

Toss ex­tra straw­ber­ries with ex­tra sugar and laven­der and set aside for 15 min­utes to mac­er­ate. Top cheese­cakes with cream and laven­der straw­ber­ries.

In a stand mixer fit­ted with the whisk at­tach­ment, whisk eggs and caster sugar for 6 min­utes or un­til tripled in vol­ume. Mean­while, sift flour and bak­ing pow­der into a bowl 3 times. Gently fold flour mix­ture and but­ter through egg mix­ture. Spread onto pre­pared pan and bake for 14 min­utes or un­til cen­tre of cake springs back slightly when pressed.

Mean­while, place a clean tea towel on a work sur­face with a long edge fac­ing you and, us­ing a fine sieve, dust all over with ex­tra caster sugar and cin­na­mon.

Work­ing quickly, in­vert hot cake onto pre­pared tea towel and re­move bak­ing pa­per. Roll tea towel away from you to form a log. Set aside to com­pletely cool.

Mean­while, for el­der­flower driz­zle, stir in­gre­di­ents in a bowl un­til well com­bined.

Un­roll cake and spread with creme fraiche. Re-roll cake and trans­fer to a plat­ter. Sprin­kle with some el­der­flower driz­zle and scat­ter with el­der­flower sprigs. Serve with re­main­ing driz­zle.

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